I was delighted to give a course for KS2&3 teachers and librarians yesterday on using picture books. There were great discussions about how they support enjoyment and learning. The best ones have many layers of meaning, so they work with everyone, whatever their abilities. They benefit every area of literacy – fabulous for building comprehension skills. They’re great for fostering thinking, creativity and social and emotional development. And they are immensely valuable in terms of subject teaching. Literacy across the curriculum is heavily stressed in the new curriculum, and it’s something Ofsted is very concerned about. Picture books really help!
I made a promise on Twitter that I would share a list of some of my favourite picture books for these key stages. There are dozens I could have included, but I have restricted myself to these, all of which are very thought-provoking (a few are too young for KS3):
Allsburg, Chris Van: The Mysteries of Harris Burdick
Baker, Jeannie: Mirror; Where the Forest Meets the Sea; Window
Baker-Smith, Grahame: Farther
Briggs, Raymond: Ug: Boy Genius of the Stone Age
Browne, Anthony: Into the Forest; Willy the Dreamer; Willy’s Pictures
Child, Lauren: That Pesky Rat; What Planet Are You From, Clarice Bean?
Crew, Gary: Memorial
Davies, Nicola: The Promise
Duffy, Carol Ann: Lost Happy Endings
French, Fiona: Snow White in New York
Gaiman, Neil: The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish; The Wolves in the Walls
Garland, Sarah: Azzi In Between
Gravett, Emily: Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears; Meerkat Mail; The Rabbit Problem
Greder, Armin: I am Thomas; The Island
Grey, Mini: The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon
Jeffers, Oliver: The Incredible Book Eating Boy
Kelly, John: Scoop!
Kitamura, Satoshi: Once Upon an Ordinary School Day
McEwan, Ian: Rose Blanche
Morley, Ben: Silence Seeker
Pinfold, Levi: Black Dog
Rosen, Michael: Sad Book
Scieszka, Jon: Stinky Cheeseman; The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!
Snicket, Lemony: The Dark
Tan, Shaun: Lost Thing; The Arrival; The Red Tree
Thompson, Colin: How to Live Forever; The Last Alchemist
Wiesner, David: Art and Max; Flotsam; Tuesday